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Two things set afar “Mistletoe & Menorahs” from the added anniversary adventurous comedies airing on Lifetime this month. As the appellation suggests, it celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas. But the adventure about an interfaith accord additionally reflects the real-life adulation belief of its writer, Guy Yosub, and its advance actor, Jake Epstein. Both are Jewish and in interfaith marriages.
“It’s the adventure of two bodies who acquisition anniversary added and adulation the differences about anniversary other. In today’s apple I anticipate that’s a admirable message,” Epstein said. “And at this time of year aback we’re inundated with Christmas programming, it’s a nice admonition that there are added cultures that bless in altered ways.”
In the film, the brace avalanche in adulation as they apprentice about anniversary other’s anniversary traditions. Israeli-born Yosub recalled that his wife, Julianna Hays, an controlling ambassador on the project, didn’t apperceive abundant about Hanukkah aback they met. “I had to do a lot of explaining. She had no abstraction what sufganiyot were,” he said.
Yosub endeavored to put as abounding Hanukkah touchstones as accessible into the movie, including dreidels, clabber doughnuts, lighting the candles and authoritative latkes. In a caroling scene, Broadway adept Epstein sings “Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah.”
Epstein met his wife, extra Vanessa Smythe, in aerial school. “We were friends, afresh sweethearts, afresh bankrupt up. We kept in blow through the years, got aback calm and got affiliated a year ago,” he said. He has addicted memories of Hanukkah parties with his continued ancestors in Toronto, area he already afresh resides afterwards seven years in New York. “If you appetite to eat, you accept to get up and acquaint a bad joke. It’s become a fun and aggressive event.”
He had a “somewhat advertent upbringing” that included Hebrew school, a bar account and adulatory holidays with family. “I would accede myself spiritually Jewish rather than religiously Jewish,” he said. “It was absolutely a big allotment of my accomplishments and absolutely a big allotment of my identity.”
“At this time of year aback we’re inundated with Christmas programming, it’s a nice admonition that there are added cultures that bless in altered ways.”— Jake Epstein
Exposed to amphitheater aboriginal by arts aficionado parents, Epstein and his sister became actors at an aboriginal age. “It’s not consistently the easiest job to be an actor. You’re consistently attractive for the abutting job,” he said. “I accede myself one of the luckiest bodies in the apple to get to do this and that I’ve been able to accept a appealing acceptable career so far.” His credits accommodate “Degrassi: The Abutting Generation,” “Designated Survivor,” “Suits,” and the musicals “Spring Awakening,” “Billy Elliot” and “Beautiful.”
Also in Lifetime’s “A Storybook Christmas,” premiering Dec. 7, Epstein currently is starring in “Dear Jack,